Accident

October 21, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(dir. Joseph Losey) (1967) Harold Pinter scripted from the novel by Nicholas Mosley: Dirk Bogarde covets his pupil’s girlfriend but lacks the courage to close in.  Meanwhile his academic pal is already on the case.  Everyone deserves censure and they know it.  Moody, slow, richly complex, misanthropic and not-to-be-missed.

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Bruno Mars

October 20, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Modern Music, MUSIC |
Bruno Mars

The Today show featured a song by a young fella alleged to be ‘Bruno Mars’. Clearly this is an alias: Michael Jackson, circa Off the Wall (1980) has been removed from cryogenic storage. But Bruno seems pretty cool and inspired The Varnished Culture to attend the local second hand record sale next Sunday afternoon. P bought The Delphonics on ‘Philly Groove’ Records…A cover with 3 sharply dressed dudes! We only realised later they feature heavily in Tarantino‘s Jackie Brown…”they’re pretty good.”  And what could be a priceless bonus, subject to verification. ‘E Costello’ signed on the back cover. EC, were…

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Argo

A worried President Carter.

(dir. Ben Affleck) (2012) Competent, over-praised and ultimately futile defence of the Carter administration.

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Tranquility in Sorrento

Sorento

I essentially completed my novel, Tranquility in Sorrento, Tasso’s town, circa April 2013.  Unlike Joseph Conrad, who, when finishing Lord Jim one early morning, shared a piece of chicken with his cat, I couldn’t hear my cat’s insistent calls to breakfast: he was thousands of miles away.  Moreover, there was no feeling of triumph, merely relief floating in a sea of fatigue and alcohol.  I started this thing in 1979, ignorant of vast swathes of modern fiction, an ignorance that cannot be overcome, perhaps only palliated, by reading 24/7.  By 2013, having worked on it in time to spare and short periods…

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Withnail & I

Withnail and I

(dir. B. Robinson) (1985) Perfect homage to the strange death of swinging London. Withnail, I and Uncle Monty et al emblematize La Bruyere’s epigram that self-indulgence and severity towards others is the same vice. ‘Looking up from our slim volume of Nigel’s poems, its pages stained with buttery tears from crumpets, we see the sky is beginning to bruise…home lads!  To Vim under the sink and one bar on.’  (Look for more killer quotes from the film here). [See “Vivian & I” by Colin Bacon (2010, Quartet Books) for Withnail’s prototype, Vivian Mackerrell. Vivian & I available at Amazon.com] [Trivia note:…

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